Dairy spread Utterly Butterly is to end its “unique” sponsorship of the world’s only formation wing-walking display team after eight years.
Aerosuperbatics, the company behind the “Utterly Butterlys” is on the hunt for a pan-European sponsor to rebrand its planes – currently the butter yellow and blue of Utterly Butterly – and rechristen the team.
A spokeswoman for the company says that both parties decided not to renew the rolling contract, which runs to the end of this year, feeling it was time “for a new challenge”.
The dairy spread, a big brand in the UK, was also not interested in leveraging the brand across Europe, where the team frequently performs.
“It is a unique opportunity,” she adds. Cadbury Crunchie sponsored the team for nine years prior to Utterly Butterly.
Dairy Crest is thought to pay a six-figure annual sum for the sponsorship deal, which sees its liveried aircraft and wingwalkers perform more than 100 aerial displays each year.
The spokeswoman estimates that 6.5 million people see the team at air shows annually, with regular television coverage.
A further 1.2 billion people saw the team in action on television during a recent state-sponsored visit to Airshow China, she adds.
Earlier this year, the Utterly Butterlys were written into an episode of primetime ITV1 soap Emmerdale showcasing its fund-raising activities.